So, for the chaplains who are reading this, I want to encourage you to continue to befriend and support your officers. Do regular ride-a-longs, check in at the PD and talk to the detectives and civilian support staff. Make yourself available – even at those seemingly inconvenient times. Be real with them – they’ll respect you more if you are up front about your beliefs, even if they don’t agree with them. Get trained – and then get trained some more.
For you peace officers, I want to encourage you (as a retired peace officer) to give your chaplain a chance. Give him a chance to serve you and be a back up for you because he knows that your work is “no afternoon athletic contest that you’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Training
Finally, this is not mere talk. The action comes in the training – putting on your theological boots - so that your theological rubber will hit the road of the real-life, blood and guts, joys and sorrows of law enforcement. May 21-25, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri, Peace Officer Ministries, Inc. offers world class training at Concordia Seminary. This includes homeland security critical incident command training, understanding law enforcement as a culture, the theology behind law enforcement and the support for it, as well as a chance to meet and network with peace officers, chaplains, pastors, and lay people who desire to ‘serve those who protect and serve us.’ More information can be found at www.peaceofficerministries.org.
Watch your six, and Stay Safe!
About The Author
Rev. Frank C. Ruffatto is a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) pastor (Point of Grace Lutheran, Cornelius, NC) and retired police detective (Prince George’s County, Md. PD) He is also the Executive Director and Chaplain for Peace Officer Ministries, Inc. (POM) a 501(c)3 non-profit, international law enforcement chaplaincy ministry whose mission is to “Serve Those Who Protect and Serve Us.”
Chaplain Ruffatto has an A.A. in Liberal Arts from St Leo College, a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Behavioral Science/Theology) from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY and a M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
Chaplain Ruffatto has performed “boots on the ground” ministry for P.O.M. in Nicaragua, Alabama, and assisted with the LCMS relief efforts in American Samoa. Locally, with Point of Grace, he has worked with the Cornelius Police Department’s Christmas-adopt-a-family projects, National Night Out events, and other ad hoc activities. Additionally, his combination of police/ministry education and experience provides a practical application to the POM police and chaplaincy training at Concordia Seminary.